life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between


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Marriage and Earthquakes.

Almost four weeks have passed since our unbelievable wedding day, and it is still extremely surreal to me that I am married. Growing up, I wasn’t the type of girl who dreamed of my future husband or pictured various details of my wedding day. I more often latched onto unattainable guys, such as Jonathan Taylor Thomas (or JTT as he was known to faithful readers of Bop and Tiger Beat), Leonardo DiCaprio (did you see the 90’s version of Romeo + Juliet?!), Davy Jones in a seriously misguided portion of my adolescence when I wished I was living in the 60’s, and then the love of the past 14 years of my life – Taylor Hanson. (Okay, I’m no longer “in love” with Taylor Hanson; we’ve fallen into to a more platonic relationship in which I may or may not think his brothers are hotter than him and I just pay lots of money to hear their band play 1-6 times per year).

I was either very cynical or just a sound realist when, during a 3-year-long dating drought, I claimed that a woman can never be sure that she will get married, and I was just going to plan on being single forever because God might have that plan for me. My girlfriends hated whenever I said anything like that, for reasons I still don’t understand (something about me being “marriage material”, whatever that is. Ask Dayne if I’m “marriage material”). I wasn’t even grumbling about my doom to singlehood most of the time, although I still hoped to find someone who I would want to be with forever. In the meantime, I hated happiness in most couples, doubted the reality of love, and celebrated breakups… basically I was a nasty person. I’ll admit it.

My teen years onward were not just filled with Taylor Hanson-lusting, however – I also went through several dating and serious relationships from eighth grade through February of 2010. Some were better than others, but there was not one that I came out of unscathed. Perhaps this contributed a little bit to my calloused attitude.

Then Dayne and I started hanging out and then dating after the infamous Valentine’s Day of 2010, and he made me happy. Incredibly happy. As a disclaimer, he doesn’t make me happy every single moment of every single day (and I’m sure that’s mutual), but somehow – overall – I am the happiest I’ve ever been.

Very shortly after Dayne & I started dating, I started thinking about marriage. I wanted to marry Dayne, and I was sure of it. I wanted him to buy me a sparkly diamond ring, and I wanted to plan our wedding, and I wanted to come home to Dayne every day and plan our future together. This was not normal for me, since I could usually see men’s flaws coming from a mile away, and I wanted nothing to do with non-perfect men.

We kept dating, and we got engaged, and eventually (after the peculiar trial of wedding planning), we got married. This amazing thing happens once you get married: the bond between the two of you grows much stronger, deeper. Almost instantaneously and imperceptibly (if you aren’t paying attention). Dayne is now my partner for life, my best friend, my family. He is something to me that no one ever has been – my husband, my spouse. There is nothing that we won’t go through together, for better or for worse. Our marriage is a miracle that I couldn’t have envisioned.

And then, 3 and 1/2 weeks into our newlywed life, we experience an earthquake. In Pennsylvania.

I think everyone who felt it was thinking, “what. the. _____(insert your favorite word here). was. that.” I happened to be working in my new job at the 266-year-old inne that I not-so-secretly fear is haunted and turned around in a guest suite to see the dresser banging against the wall, and all the chandeliers swaying from the ceiling. I was alone and was pretty sure a ghost was out to get me, even as I felt the ground trembling under my feet (pretty intense haunting, right?!), because we don’t have earthquakes in Pennsylvania. Lisa Herman doesn’t get married.

Anything can happen, at any moment, and it can catch you totally off-guard. You could meet your future spouse, or the earth could suddenly shake beneath your feet (literally or figuratively). Earthquakes are scary in a different way from dating and marriage, but it’s all a little scary, because life just happens to you in a way that is unstoppable and mostly unpredictable. In a way, it reminds me to have faith that there is Someone operating with a greater force and a bigger plan.

For God is so wise and so mighty. Who has ever challenged him successfully? Without warning, he moves the mountains, overturning them in his anger. He shakes the earth from its place, and its foundations tremble. If he commands it, the sun won’t rise and the stars won’t shine. He alone has spread out the heavens and marches on the waves of the sea. He made all the stars — the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the southern sky. He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles. – Job 9:4-10 (NLT)

photo credit to Morby Photography


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The Importance of Date Night.

I was going to post about the Royal Wedding, but who needs to read/hear any more commentary about the Royal Wedding? Suffice it to say that I loved it — the fairytale of it, the things I appreciated from a planning standpoint (truth), and even the spiritual meaning behind that kind of a spectacular wedding. The Bible says all Christians are heading to a big Royal Wedding where the Bridegroom is waiting for us. We’re all sons and daughters of a King.

Anyways, I won’t go all Royal-Wedding on this blog entry. I wanted to post about our premarital counseling homework.

All we have to do for homework these next two months is date. Seemingly easy, right? Not for us — Dayne is in the middle of an extra assignment at work (above & beyond his normal workload), I am in a job transition, we are wedding planning, and we are still trying to keep up with friends and family and normal life.

We were supposed to date once a week, but we realistically had to pare it down to once every week and a half. That’s actually really good for us.

No wedding talk, no work talk, just good, old-fashioned dating.

Well, we did take it seriously and we planned out specific dates every week and a half for the next two months. Our first date day/night was yesterday (Saturday). We still had some wedding stuff to do beforehand – like buying Dayne’s wedding ring and having a tasting at our venue – but afterwards I went with Dayne to play disc golf (first time for me; he loves it), we visited my family, we ate frozen pizza at my apartment and watched The King’s Speech.

It was a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL day and I honestly forgot how much I enjoy spending time with Dayne. Pathetic, right? I’m marrying him and I couldn’t remember what it was like to just relax and spend time with him.

It turns out most of the anxiety I was feeling about the wedding revolved around that simple issue – that I couldn’t remember what it was like to enjoy being with Dayne. Everything had become work and stress, and that’s a very dangerous place for a relationship to be.

I realized that I have to tone it down and remember to take breaks (long breaks). I honestly remembered yesterday & today why I fell in love with Dayne in the first place. And how much more I love him now.

Yes, we did work on more wedding stuff today… and came up with a killer posterboard timeline:

And we worked on Dayne’s extra assignment together. But we also hung out, made dinner, and watched another good movie tonight (The Switch). It was lovely.

So I’m learning now that we’re going to have to fight for date night — not just during wedding planning, but during every season of life. There are going to be times when we don’t remember why we married each other, I’m sure. There are going to be times when our lives revolve around our jobs, or our kids, or friends or family crises. I hope we think back to our premarital counseling (or this blog entry) and remember to make time to date. Because we are happier and stronger as a couple that way 🙂

 ^^See how happy we are? We were dating.